The mangalsutra is considered a symbol of marriage in India. Wearing a mangalsutra has been an integral part of Hindu culture for ages and is considered to be a part of the attire of any Indian bride. But, at present, not everyone knows its importance. Historically, the tradition seems to have originated in the 5th-6th century CE. It is believed that the tradition originated in southern India, where it later travelled to the northern states. “Mangal” means holy and “Sutra” alludes to thread. In its bare form, the mangalsutra is essentially a yellow-gold thread strung with black beads. The groom ties the thread around his bride’s neck at the moment they get married–much like how couples in western culture exchange rings. The mangalsutra is also considered a talisman to ward off the evil eye.

While the mangalsutra is widespread throughout India, the names for the necklace, the significance and styles of the necklace may vary from region to region… and also dependent on religion, as Indians of Muslim and Christian faith observe the jewelry styles differently.

In our ongoing collaboration, New Jersey-based jewelry stylist Jagruti Bansal gives further insight into the mangalsutra necklace.

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